Monday, July 13, 2009

"Swallowtail on Syringa"
Oil on canvas panel 14"x11"
The blossoms this year on the Syringa (Idaho State flower), have been glorious and thick. Each day that they were in bloom I have been unable to get to my brushes..... Finally Friday I found a prepared canvas, plucked a few stems, brought them into the studio, pulled my Swallowtail specimens out of the drawer and started this painting.
I have had a standing arrangement with neighbor children that they get a small painting if they find a dead butterfly and carefully bring it to me. So with 12 or so years of children finding expired butterfly carcases, I have a usable collection. I actually now have a right and a left wing of the Swallowtail I can observe and make my interpretation in paint.
For this painting I decided to begin with the butterfly and build the flowers around it rather than begin with the flowers as I have done before. It was not all bad that way. The last one I painted, a student liked the beginning and bought it without butterfly (does that mean I put too much finish into my work?).
I also wanted warm colors for the composition.
It took both Friday and Saturday to complete.
I am posting it today for my Grand Niece, Mattina, who stayed with me for a month and brought great joy into this house.


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